Farmhouse Bench Upcycle
For the last year, I have seen so many gorgeous headboard bench conversions I had to make one of my own. The headboard I used is solid pecan except for the circles, I think the circles are fiberglass. We aren’t sure of the age but the style seems the 70s to me. We went junking while in BC and found this headboard at a consignment store for $20.
All too often I forget to take my before picture, my apologies but this is the before picture after I removed the two long spears that were where the arrow is. The spears were used as legs and you can see where I cut them off.
This bench is super simple to make, the exact amount of lumber you need will depend on the size of your headboard. This headboard is a single so we used two 1 “by 6″ pieces of lumber and some leftover melamine board, 1/2 ” plywood works as well.
We measured the distance between the centers of the two legs on the headboard, ours measured 40 inches. Hubs placed markings on the headboard for the placement of the wood frame making sure the markings on both legs were level.
We cut the long boards 40″ and the short boards 17″. Our bench is 17 inches deep so we could use up some leftover material you can make yours a bit deeper.
Looking back we should have built the bench frame first and then attach it to the headboard. We were sorting the process out while building it, so we attached the back piece of the lumber to the headboard with screws first. Then we attached the sides and finally the front. Hubs attached the lumber together using both wood glue and nails.
Next, we made the front legs by attaching the headboard’s spears to the front of the box frame.
The legs were attached by predrilling and countersinking the holes first. Hubs then used screws to attach the leg to the bench frame. Countersinking allowed me to fill in the holes and hide the screws.
Once the frame was built I used wood filler to fill in the screw holes, the holes on the bench where the spears had been and any knots or blemishes we found in the lumber.
The headboard had a little bit of scroll work on both the legs and the back, I find them really pretty and well worth taking the time to hand sand around it.
The bench was first sanded with 220 sandpaper to remove the shine. I then primed it and painted it with three coats of Benjamin Moore Diamond White paint. Let each coat of paint dry thoroughly and then lightly sand with 220 grit sandpaper to make the surface smoother. Once painted seal the bench with one coat of polyurethane.
The melamine board was cut to the dimensions of the box (40″ by 17″) plus 1 inch for overlap (41″ by 18″). Once the board was cut I began adding the upholstery.
You will need fabric and some sort of stuffing material, For our bench, we had some leftover packaging foam and polyfill. Alternatively, you could use the stuffing from old comforters, pillows, or cushioning. Search around your home for anything soft that may work. Cut the foam and polyfill to the same size as the board. Cut the fabric 5 inches longer and wider than the wood (45″ by 22″). This will give you adequate fabric for stretching and stapling over the stuffing.
Layering the Cushion Material
Lay out the fabric.
Center the board on the fabric and mark with chalk. Use these marks to place your stuffing material. Place your stuffing layers on top of the fabric. Cover the stuffing with the board. (seat bottom)
Make sure to fold over the edge of the fabric a little bit before stapling. This will keep any stray threads under control and make the bottom of the bench neater.
If your fabric has a pattern double check that the board is centered so that your pattern is even.
Fold the center of the two long sides first, then work your way out stapling every four inches or so.
Repeat this process on the short sides.
Once the four sides are done start on the corners.
The focus is on how the top will look, the underside is secondary. The seams will be hidden by the wood frame so don’t fret too much about it.
Trim any excess fabric away from the corner. Make sure to pull a little bit of stuffing over the corner.
Fold over the center of the corner and staple in place.
(Our melamine board was a bit tough for the stapler, so after stapling we used the hammer to flatten the staples out. )
Fold one side over and staple.
Then finish with the other side.
If you find that you need to remove more excess fabric to make the corner neat go for it, just be very cautious not to cut your fabric too short.
Fold over the other three corners of the bench seat.
Attach Stuffed Seat to Bench
Working from the underside of the bench, predrill the wood and then screw in L brackets. Attach the brackets to both the inside of the bench frame and the bench seat. Hubs put in four brackets.
I absolutely love the fabric, unfortunately, the store had limited stock but I thought the bench was worth using some of it on.
As you can tell by the tree in the background I have just begun to decorate for Christmas, it’s very busy around here and I am thankful to have the bench finished in the foyer
Enjoy your week.